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Rage One (blog)

martes, diciembre 09, 2008

No Forever 21: South Central Farmers Rally


For Immediate Release
December 12, 2008

Media Contacts
Danny Santana (310) 594-2098,
Liz Chavez (310) 346-7004,

South Central Farmers Rally
Saturday, December 13th, 12PM-3PM






LOS ANGELES--The South Central Farmers have joined forces with student groups California Statewide MEChA and D-Q Unity to force the international teen clothing corporation Forever 21 to end plans for construction on the site of the South Central Farm and demand fair wages for its workers. The SCF Action Committee will lead a rally to kickoff a national boycott until the Farm is restored and stop worker abuse ended on Saturday, December 13, at noon at the Forever 21 "superstore" at 35 N. De Lacey Avenue in Pasadena, one block north of Colorado Avenue.

Forever 21 is the proposed tenant for the Farm land. A mammoth warehouse is planned for the company, moving 2500 trucks daily in and out the over-industrialized neighborhood. Forever 21 has a history of underpaying workers and violating workers' safety, concerns workers still have in spite of a 2006 settlement against the retail and manufacturing giant.

The rise of the South Central Farmers began nearly three years ago when their raucous and playful street protests, with oversized cardboard corn and a multicultural blend of young people, gave voice to 350 families being thrown out of a public garden they had cultivated into a hidden paradise in the middle of L.A.'s industrial district.

Developer Ralph Horowitz bulldozed the site of the South Central Farm, the nation's largest urban farm, in June of 2006 after negotiations between the Mayor's office and Horowitz failed. Four months later, executives from Forever 21 accompanied Mayor Villaraigosa on a trade mission to Asia. In June of this year, the Mayor named Forever 21's vice president, Christopher Lee, to the influential seven-member Industrial Development Authority. A month later, the Farmers and area residents were forced back to City Hall to stop construction of the warehouse. They temporarily halted Horowitz's planned construction of a mammoth shipping center for Forever 21, forcing Horowitz to agree to an Environmental Impact Report before construction could go forward on the warehouse.

In August, the Los Angeles Times revealed that Forever 21 had donated nearly $1.3M to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's election campaign and initiatives. In spite of warehouses emptied by a twenty percent downturn in imports to the Port of Los Angeles, Lee has threatened to pull Forever 21 out of Los Angeles if the company can not build their plant on the Farm site.

Meanwhile, the South Central Farmers continue to claim the right to cultivate the land at 41st and Alameda and are spearheading a growing coalition of organizations to demand food rights, ecological justice, and a green agenda for Los Angelinos.


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